Cost to repair a washing machine

Repairs generally cost $150 to $500

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A broken washing machine can disrupt your weekly routine, forcing you to shell out money at a laundromat. Most washing machine repairs cost between $150 and $500, but you’ll need a professional evaluation to know exactly how much a repair will cost. To get a better idea of what your repair may set you back, we surveyed eight appliance repair professionals from around the country for information on real-world costs.

Learn more about common washing machine problems, whether it’s better to repair or replace your washer, and how much repairs may cost you.

Key insights

  • You can fix some washing machine issues yourself if you’re handy, but it’s often better to call an appliance repair company for help.
  • Your repair costs will depend on the problem you’re having and the make and model of your washer.
  • If your washer is more than five years old and the repair cost is over 50% of the price of a new washer, consider buying a new unit instead of repairing the old one.

Repair costs by type of washer

The type of washer you have will affect your expected repair costs, according to the appliance repair professionals we interviewed.

Because of their size and simplicity, portable washers are the cheapest type of washer to repair, while under-the-counter and integrated units tend to be the most expensive. Repairs for top- and front-loading washers are fairly affordable since they’re the most popular, making parts and technicians for them easy to find.

Repair costs by washer brand

The cost of repairing a washing machine depends often on the brand of your machine. However, you often get what you pay for, and many of our sources admitted that while brands like Bosch are expensive, they do last a long time.

Washer repair costs by problem

When your washer starts to break down, you may have to deal with leaks, clanking sounds, unexpected shutdowns or your machine not turning on at all. In general, leaks and door problems are the least expensive repairs, while problems with digital readouts are the most expensive.

Many repair companies charge a $70 to $100 service fee to come to your home and diagnose your problem, but this fee is often waived if you end up hiring them to complete the repair. Still, you’re unlikely to get away with a repair under $100 once you figure in labor and material costs.

» DON’T WANT TO PAY OUT OF POCKET? What does a home warranty cover?

Repair costs by part

If you know what component in your washing machine is malfunctioning, you may be able to order a replacement part yourself. However, diagnosis is often best left to professionals because there could be more than one faulty part.

The part costs are highly dependent on your brand of washer and how old it is. Imported parts may be more expensive, and manufacturers can stop producing parts for discontinued models, making the remaining supply more valuable.

Check out the table below to see what you might pay for common washing machine parts, not including installation.

Here’s what you can expect when it comes to replacing some of these parts:

  • Bearings: The bearings keep the drum spinning smoothly. Wear and tear occurs from excessive vibrations and heavy loads of laundry.
  • Belt: This component attaches the drum to the motor, and it can eventually snap or wear down. When this happens, the drum will stop spinning.
  • Control panel: This circuit board allows you to control the settings on the machine. If it’s broken, you won’t be able to use the washer. It can be pricey to replace when you factor in the cost of installation.
  • Drum: The drum is the part that holds the clothes and spins during the wash. Replacing it can be very expensive, especially if you have a pricier model. If the washer is several years old, it may be more worthwhile to just replace the entire machine.
  • Gasket: The gasket is the rubber seal on the door of a front-load machine. It prevents moisture from escaping and mold growth.
  • Inlet valve: The valve connects the hoses to the machine so it can fill with water. If it breaks or leaks, you may notice either too little or too much water in the machine.
  • Pressure switch: This component lets the washing machine know how much water is in the tub. If it fails, your machine may not start.
  • Pump: If the water isn’t draining from the machine, the pump may need to be repaired or replaced.
  • Timer: The timer lets the washer know when to start and stop a cycle. This is usually a quick fix for a technician to replace it.
  • Transmission: This component controls the spinning of the inner tub during a cycle. Like the drum, a transmission replacement can be pricey to fix.

What are the most common washing machine problems?

Washers can break down for many reasons, but experts see some issues repeatedly.

“I go through this every single week and the most common problems with washers are 1) not draining, 2) not spinning, 3) making loud noises like a grinding or rubbing noise, and 4) the water’s not coming in,” said David Asunbo, a technician with Niyalu Repair Service in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

With more than 16 years in the appliance repair business, Asunbo has found that the same issues can come up regardless of the type of washer. However, the cause is often unclear, and some types of washers are prone to specific failures.

Below is a rundown of the most common problems for different types of washing machines, according to our panel of specialists.

Portable washer problems
Portable washers aren’t connected directly to your water line; instead, they use a hose that attaches to any faucet in your home. Because the hose is attached each time it's used, this coupling can become damaged and create water supply issues. Portable washers are simple machines, however, so they’re typically cheaper to fix.
Semi-automatic washer problems
Semi-automatic machines typically have two tubs (washing and spinning) and require users to manually add water for both the wash and rinse cycles. Semi-automatic washers often have drainage problems, though — usually caused by a malfunctioning control module.
Top-loading washer problems
Top loaders are the most common washers in the U.S. because they’re the most affordable to purchase and repair. They tend to require more energy and water than front loaders, however. Top-loading washers often have drainage problems and faulty door switches, which can cause your washing cycle to stop prematurely.
Front-loading washer problems
It’s easier to strain the internal components in a front-loading washer because the drum is oriented horizontally. The most common problems with this type of washer involve broken belts or hoses that prevent the drum from spinning.
Under-the-counter washer problems
Under-the-counter models (also called compact washers) are typically smaller than regular washing machines. They tend to have the same problems as standard-size front loaders, but it can be more expensive to order parts and harder to find trained technicians to work on them because they’re not as common.
Integrated washer problems
Integrated washers are designed to fit under your counter and hide behind cabinetry. Like compact washers, these are more expensive to fix due to the limited availability of parts and a shortage of repair techs. Also, because they’re built-in, it may be necessary to remove cabinets to access an integrated machine.

Broken washing machine: repair or replace?

With most home appliances, you can follow the 50% rule: If your repair costs are more than 50% of what a new machine costs and your unit is more than 50% through its expected life span, replace it.

After that point, the time and money you invest into repairs will have diminishing returns. However, some decisions aren’t as cut-and-dried, especially if you have a matching dryer that’s still working.

The most expensive repair is when you have to replace a motor or a shaft. We’re talking about two to three hours of labor.”
— David Asunbo, Niyalu Repair Service in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

New washing machines should last 10 years or longer. If your washer is more than five years old, it might be worth repairing — but it might not be, depending on the problem and the associated costs. While you can keep a washing machine running much longer with repairs and proper maintenance, it might not be cost-effective (especially if the alternative is to upgrade to an energy-efficient model).

You should also consider the kind of repair you’re facing. Asunbo, the technician from Pittsburgh we interviewed, pointed out some problems that are too complicated to warrant a repair.

Washing machine prices vary considerably, but many popular models cost $500 to $1,000.

“The most expensive repair is when you have to replace a motor or a shaft. We’re talking about two to three hours of labor," Asunbo said. "Or, if you have to replace a control board — we’re talking $400-plus. These are expensive repairs, and at that point, it doesn’t really make sense for you to put money into it.”

Check your manufacturer’s warranty coverage before you shell out money for a repair or replacement.

» FIND OUT: Is an appliance extended warranty worth it?

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    How long should a washing machine last?

    Most washing machines should last at least 10 years, but their durability is really a function of how many loads of laundry you put through them and any other stressors, like overloading the drum. If your washer sees heavier use (at least a load of laundry a day), expect it to wear out faster.

    Is it worth it to repair a washing machine?

    It’s best to follow the 50% rule: Don’t spend more than half of what a new washer costs repairing a unit that’s more than five years old.

    Can I fix my washing machine myself?

    It’s generally easier to have a trained technician address the problem because they have access to the replacement parts and tools needed to complete the job. However, many simple repairs are possible if you’re handy — just have the number of a local repair shop on hand if things go downhill.

    How can I maintain my washing machine?

    There are several steps you can take to keep your washing machine in working order. Follow these tips:

    • Use the right type of detergent. If your machine is high-efficiency, choose a detergent with the “HE” label on it — and don’t put too much detergent in either. Follow the recommended instructions. 
    • Don’t overfill the washer. Stuffing in too many items can wear out the parts sooner, so it’s better to do several smaller loads instead. 
    • Keep the door open between washes. This will let the inside of the machine dry out and can help prevent mold and mildew growth. 
    • Clean the machine about once a month. Many newer machines will have a reminder to run a special cycle with a washing machine cleaner. This keeps the drum free of detergent residue and prevents odors. 
    • Keep the machine level and balanced. It’s normal for the machine to shake, but it shouldn’t move across the floor. You can adjust the legs: Turn them clockwise to lower and counterclockwise to raise.
    Do home warranties cover washing machines?

    Yes, if you have a home warranty, it may cover your appliances. Most companies will include both the washing machine and dryer in their base plans — as opposed to only featuring them as add-ons.

    Timothy, a reviewer from New Jersey, told us his washing machine repair was covered and completed faster than expected thanks to their home warranty.

    “I was really impressed … and very happy that he fixed everything as quickly as he did,” he said. “He was very informative, told me exactly what to do, went over the care and maintenance of the washing machine before he left and suggested what type of detergent we should be using in it from here forward.”

    » COMPARE: Best home warranty companies

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